BUSTED – How Low Will Burke’s Supporters Sink?

UPDATE: It now appears that while the piece was paid for by Nutter, a Burke supporter, the money changed hands before Nutter had shifted his allegiance to Burke. Both candidates have disavowed their third party mudslingers, which is wonderful news. While I still believe that Sly James is the best candidate for Mayor, my respect for Mike Burke remains solid.

Sly James has run a clean campaign, just as I knew he would. He’s just that kind of guy.

Mike Burke’s campaign has been floundering, though, just as I suspected it would.

That’s why I was honestly shocked and disgusted when I got a poorly-produced hatchet job in my mail today, attacking Mike Burke. Totally unprofessional, out of character for Sly, and completely unnecessary for a campaign that is winning with a joyful grace that has made me proud to know Sly.

It made me angry, and so I decided that I was going to do what I could to expose the creeps behind this kind of crap, even if they were fellow supporters of Sly. Wrong is wrong, dammit, and so I went to poke around the Missouri Ethics Commission website and see what kind of low-lives would do this.

The answer shocked even me.

The piece was paid for by none other than Mike Burke’s own strong supporter, James Nutter. The flyer was paid for by “Citizens for Integrity, Calvin Bender, Treasurer”. There is no such organization, but Calvin Bender is treasurer of the “Committee for Integrity”, and here’s the report of who gave money this year. Nutter is, as Burke is proud to point out, a prominent Burke supporter.

Now, why would Burke’s friend send out an amateurish piece doing a botched hatchet job on Burke?

Because it provokes in other likely voters exactly the reaction it provoked in me – revulsion at the perpetrator. And most people aren’t going to be as vengeful as I was, and bother to track down the creeps who produced it. So the taint would get unfairly placed on the innocent, clean-campaigning, Sly James.

Cleverly, they even chose to attack Burke on the fact that he is a development lawyer, an issue which has been obvious since day 1, and hence not anything that will lose Burke any further votes.

I am well aware, of course, that “Committee for Integrity” is not officially part of the Burke campaign, though I am also well aware that campaigns are able to exert strong influence over third-party mailings without technically “controlling” them. If anybody wants to be naive enough to believe that Mike Burke’s fingerprints are not all over this despicable bag of garbage, then those people should join with me in calling upon Mike Burke to publicly condemn Mr. Nutter, to return Nutter’s campaign donations to him, and to publicly state that Sly James has run a clean and honorable campaign, despite the lies being spread by his own supporters.

Anything less would leave Burke in the company of sleaze.

Update: Check the comments for a plausible alternative explanation from commenter “Doc”.

Tags: ,

6 Responses to “BUSTED – How Low Will Burke’s Supporters Sink?”

  1. doc says:

    If you truely try to be fair to both sides, then you wouldn’t try to connect the dots until you knew what really happened. While Nutter donated the money in February, at the time it was intended for Hermann’s general election. And just because he donated it doesn’t mean he has control of the committee to disperse it for this mailing.

    I bet Sly soaks up the self-righteousness a little bit longer until he has to do some denouncing and realizes his camp overreacted.

  2. gonemild says:

    You could be right about that, Doc. I hadn’t remembered Nutter’s fickleness. On the other hand, your complaint about me trying to connect the dots is kind of funny, given the lack of transparency that these third-party committees use to shield their back-stabbing and double-dealing. It’s also funny that you think Sly is soaking up self-righteousness, or that you think I am part of his “camp”. I’m just an interested observer, trying to figure out what’s going on.

  3. doc says:

    Agree on the lack of transparency, which is a disadvantage to candidates and an advantage to those hoping to influence. It’s too bad the campaign is ending on this note. Although a supporter of his, I don’t think you’re in his camp, but I do think the James campaign would be ticked if the Burke team reacted to this mailer the same way they reacted to the commercial.

  4. gonemild says:

    Wow, Doc, suddenly we’re all getting lovey-dovey here, because I think Sly should denounce the mailer, though I’d be shocked if he even remotely had anything to do with it. And I 100% agree with you on the pernicious effect of third-party efforts.

    I will certainly be happy to publish anything I am able to uncover on Committee for Integrity, whomever is behind it. Either way, they are destructive to our political climate.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Even though it turned out that you may have been wrong about the conspiracy theory, I’m truly impressed that you set out to track down the culprits, whomever they were. I hope you will do a post after the final reports are in listing the names of the people behind these sneaky committees. Name names, Dan!

  6. [...] But I do know that the hasty “admission” came when Dave Helling was following up on this blog’s story that former king-maker Jim Nutter was a major donor to the “Committee …. [...]

Leave a Reply